News & Views » Columns

Freep speak



Well, the results of the big Free Press investigation into the work of star columnist and mis-assumer Mitch Albom are finally in. We can all breathe easy, because, as the front-page headline Monday assured, there is “no pattern of deception” in Mitch’s vast body of work. News Hits is thrilled, but, as usual, a bit confused. If not deception, what word do you use to describe some of the things Albom was found to have done over the years? For example, what is it when someone writes about a football game in a way that leads readers to believe he was at the actual game when, in fact, he watched it on TV just like the average schmo? Poetic license, maybe, which is fine for poets, but is kind of frowned upon in journalism. And what do you call it when someone lifts quotes from other media sources without disclosing that fact, making it appear as if the work is his own? Oh well, no one’s perfect. Besides, he’s a columnist, and they apparently play by special rules. And when those lifted quotes are, as if by magic, seemingly “livelier” than the originals? In the business, that’s called quote-doctoring, which most papers tend to discourage. Whatever you call it, to the Freep’s editors it is not deception. And their word is good enough for us.

Send comments to [email protected]

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.